Fundamental changes

Structure of the new standard

The 10 keys in the implementation:

1st Key: The high level structure as a base.

The adoption of the high level structure aims to facilitate integration with other management systems, such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001, by providing, beyond a mere index, common basic texts and definitions for all management systems . To this base are added texts, terms, requirements and specific points of safety and health at work.

If we already know other standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 we will not be new to the index, but if it is the first time we approach the high level structure or HLS we can observe that it will structure the future ISO 45001 as follows :

0.- Introduction

1.- Purpose and field of application

2.- Normative References

3.- Terms and definitions

4.- Context of the organization

5.- Leadership

6.- Planning

7.- Support

8.- Operation

9.- Performance Evaluation

10.- Improvement

2nd Key: The role of the context in the future ISO 45001.

The understanding of the organization and its context will be a relevant innovation when compared to OHSAS 18001. In this sense, it will seek to make the company aware of all those issues, both positive and negative, that affect it directly and indirectly to achieve The results, achieve the goals set or move towards the planned objectives as planned.

That is, take into account what surrounds you and assess how it affects your occupational safety and health management system.

In this way, the future ISO 45001 standard tells us that we have to take into account when drawing this global image:

 internal issues including:

  •  staff knowledge, management and intermediate controls
  •  responsibilities and their distribution
  •  the structure of the company
  •  information flows
  •  decision-making processes
  •  etc.

The external issues among which is:

  •  the cultural environment
  •  market competition
  •  new and old suppliers
  •  new technology
  •  new legislation
  •  etc.

3rd Key: Understand the stakeholders and their expectations.

This point will also be a novelty and, like the previous one, will involve a reflection and understanding of the needs and expectations of the different stakeholders.

We need to start from the definition of stakeholder, understanding it as those people or organizations that can affect, be affected, or perceived as affected by a decision or activity, to understand the requirement. And it is that beyond the workers, we will have to consider the legal authorities, suppliers, subcontracted companies if there are, unions, owners, clients, neighbors of the company, medical services, parent organization if it exists, etc. The list can be very long but we can not stay there, but from this, the future rule tells us that we have to identify:

 your needs
 and their expectations.
With all this information, it will be assessed which of these needs and expectations become applicable legal requirements and other requirements and will be reflected in the objectives or the health and safety policy at work, and which are not.

Having drawn the context and placing the characters, composed of stakeholders, the company will already have a starting point to understand where it is and how it affects and how decisions affect both internal and external.

4th Key: The leader as the engine of the system.

In OHSAS 18001 the role of leadership was already reflected, however in the future ISO 45001 this point will be reinforced. And it is that the High Management will have to exercise its work like leader, not like boss, looking for:  the commitment with the OSH by the whole company, no matter positions or work;  integrating processes and requirements;  promoting continuous improvement through active motivation;  providing support and support to middle managers to enable them to carry out leadership roles;  promoting participation;  and establishing a business strategy that integrates safety and health at work throughout the process. That is, a LEADER in capital letters that is interested in the effectiveness and proper management of the system of management of occupational safety and health and that manifests in the day to day knowledge and involvement in day to day. With the greatest weight of management a figure, which appears in OHSAS 18001, loses strength in the new document: the Representative of the Directorate. This character will not appear in the text, but can continue to exist.

5th Key: The participation of workers as essence.

The future ISO 45001 standard takes into account the participation of workers in the Occupational Safety and Health Management System and the need to be consulted as a means to improve. To this end, mechanisms, training and resources should be established, if they do not exist, for active participation; Provide access to clear, understandable and relevant information; And motivate for it to take place. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the need to identify all those barriers and obstacles that limit or even nullify participation and establish the need to provide the means to correct or eliminate them. All this to promote that the workers are included in the system of management of safety in the work.

This aspect may not seem novel in Spain due to existing legislation on safety at work and the role of workers’ representatives, however, at the international level will be a great challenge for many countries.

Due to the differences between each region, it will be necessary to wait for the final document to be published to observe and assess how this requirement is defined.

6th Key: Thought based on risk appears reinforced.

Risk management is not a novel concept as we saw it reflected in OHSAS 18001 and we are accustomed to seeing it closely linked to safety at work. However, in the future ISO 45001 standard it adopts a preventive dye with the objective of identifying which points or activities could pose a risk to workers, as well as other people such as visitors, neighbors, the general public, etc. In this way, legal compliance will be strengthened.

The future ISO 45001 will establish that in order to identify and evaluate the risks of the occupational safety and health management system we have to take into account both the context and the stakeholders. All this establishing a plan that would cover actions for risks and opportunities, legal risks and emergency situations and how to respond to them. In this way, it will be possible to integrate and implement actions effectively in the processes of the system of management of occupational health and safety, and, a relevant aspect, to evaluate their effectiveness.

7th Key: The requirement of Change Management.

This Change Management is not a novelty as such, but it will be strengthened in future ISO 45001 in relation to OHSAS 18001. The document will indicate that a process must be established for those changes that have an impact on the management system of Safety and health at work, such as:

  •  changes in the way of working.
  •  changes in equipment.
  •  changes in legislation.
  •  development of the technology to be applied.
  •  new products.
  •  etc.

This aspect is related to risk management because, in this way, the company that does not have such a change will have a negative impact or measures can be taken to mitigate them, should changes occur without being foreseen. But not everything is negative, since it will also have to take into account the opportunities. We must keep in mind that a risk or a well-managed adverse effect can become a valuable opportunity for the company.

8th Key: Subcontracting as part of the system.

The future ISO 45001 Standard will establish another novelty in the world of work safety by including companies and subcontracted personnel as a requirement.

Firstly, it will focus on purchases as essential for the workplace and indicate the need to establish controls to ensure that the products purchased are in line with the requirements established by the health and safety management system in the job.

On the other hand, it will also establish a control of the subcontracted activities that allow and assure that these workers comply with the requirements of the system of management of the health and safety in the work. That is to say, it considers them part of the company and, therefore, there is no distinction between the own and the external ones. In addition, as part of the system, the company must identify the risks arising from contractors’ activities and establish a smooth communication in both directions with them.

9th Key: The importance of Continuous Improvement.

The future ISO 45001 standard includes and extends the concept of continuous improvement. This improvement will seek to achieve the objectives of improving the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the system reflected in the reduction of incidents and nonconformities, promoting a culture of safety and health at work and improving performance. All this without forgetting that the workers participate actively in this improvement.

For this process to be effective it would be reflected in the following steps:

10th Key: The weight of the terminology.

Finally, I would like to highlight some terms that will appear in the future ISO 45001 standard that also indicate the direction that has taken this system of management of occupational safety and health. 

Place of work: place under the control of the organization where a person needs to be or where he needs to go for work reasons.
Note 1 on entry: The responsibilities of the organization under the OSH management system for the workplace depend on the degree of control over the workplace.
 Danger: source or situation with potential to cause damage and deterioration of health.
 Opportunity for OSH: circumstance or set of circumstances that can lead to the improvement of OSH performance.
 Incident: events that arise from work or in the course of work that could have or result in damage and deterioration of health,
Finally, a look at the future.

It is still early to talk about the transition or migration between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001, however it is interesting to note that this ISO is not an evolution of OHSAS.

That is, OHSAS is independent of the ISO and will remain in force until established by the reference manager, so that both documents could coexist for an indefinite period while OHSAS remains in force.

We will have to wait for the ISO 45001 document to be published definitively, as I said at the beginning, by the end of 2016 if everything goes according to plan, to start talking about the steps for migration.

However, I hope that with these 10 keys the image of the future ISO 45001 has gained strength and has become more clear and understandable, preparing and taking into account the possible requirements that are being considered and that will undoubtedly affect, I hope Which positively, to a better and more effective health and safety at work.

fundamental changes & Keys for ISO45001 (OSHA18801) successful implementation

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